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Understanding and preventing hair loss in textured hair

Expert advice on causes and prevention of hair loss for Afro-textured hair
Hair loss
Photo credit: / Prostock-studio

Hair loss can be a distressing experience, and understanding its causes is the first step towards prevention. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nkem Ugonabo shares insights on the main causes of hair loss and offers valuable tips for maintaining healthy hair, especially for those with Afro-textured hair.

Recognizing normal hair-shedding

It’s normal to shed 50 to 100 hairs daily during the natural hair growth cycle, which consists of the growing (anagen), regressing (catagen) and shedding (telogen) phases. However, excessive shedding — known as telogen effluvium — can be triggered by stress, illness, medications and significant weight loss.

Understanding hair loss in Afro-textured hair

Afro-textured hair is particularly susceptible to certain types of hair loss, such as central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA), which starts at the crown and spreads outward. The fragile nature of Afro-textured hair — due to structural differences in the hair shaft — makes it more prone to damage from styling practices like excessive heat, chemical relaxers and hair dye.

Preventive measures for hair breakage and loss

Dr. Ugonabo recommends the following tips to reduce hair breakage and strengthen Afro-textured hair:

Shampoo and condition regularly: Wash and condition your hair every 1-2 weeks, using sulfate-free products like Shea Moisture Bond Repair Shampoo and Conditioner.

Moisturize with deep conditioners: Keep your hair moisturized with deep and leave-in conditioners to prevent breakage, such as the Cécred Moisturizing Deep Conditioner.

Use heat protectants: Always apply a heat protectant before using heat styling tools to minimize damage.

Limit tension in hairstyles: Choose styles that don’t pull on the hair too tightly to avoid traction alopecia.

Protect hair while sleeping: Use a satin scarf or pillowcase to reduce friction and prevent breakage during the night.

By following these guidelines and seeking expert advice for hair loss treatment, you can maintain the health and strength of your Afro-textured hair.

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